Dig Up Hidden History & Western Culture In The Canadian Badlands | 5 Day Tour
Hike pine forest trails in the middle of the prairie, meet prehistoric dinosaurs, explore the culturally diverse city of Medicine Hat and dine on creative local dishes on this four-night history and culture tour of the Canadian Badlands.
Unearth Alberta's secret maverick past and bold modern spirit with local experts Prairie Sprinter. While you're busy exploring our guides will take care of everything else- including all group activities, accommodations and breakfasts. Lunch and evening meals not included unless otherwise noted. Travelling in our small groups means you'll make deep new friendships.
Download the whole information package here.
EXPLORE THE CANADIAN BADLANDS
DAY ONE | BLACKFOOT TRADITIONS & DEEP DARK SKIES
We pick you up first thing from your Calgary hotel and head to Siksika Nation. At River Ranche local tour operator Dion Red Gun and his family welcome us with a traditional Indigenous ceremony. After this introduction to Blackfoot culture, we'll take an interpretive hike to a working beaver lodge, enjoy a generous home cooked lunch and admire traditional dancing and drumming.
We depart in the early afternoon for Elkwater in the Cypress Hills, arriving just in time for dinner at your leisure. In late evening, we head away from the town's lights and return to the park - one of the world's biggest dark sky preserves - to gaze up into the endless night twinkling with galaxies of stars.
OVERNIGHT Elkwater Lake Lodge
DAY TWO | OUTSIDE PLAY & HISTORY IN CLAY
After breakfast at the lodge, spend the morning on nature trails among pine trees, wild orchids and lots of wildlife in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Leisurely wander through the town site of Elkwater or, depending on the season, ski, snowshoe, golf, paddle or bike in the open natural areas surrounding the town.
We depart at noon for history, culture and craft beer in Medicine Hat. Camp Cookhouse will prepare a picnic lunch for the road using the freshest local ingredients.
Our first stop in the city is the Historic Clay District to stand inside a beehive kiln at Medalta Potteries and tour a brick and tile factory. By then, we'll have worked up a thirst - so we'll end the afternoon tasting our way through local breweries Hell's Basement and Medicine Hat Brewing Company. Back at the hotel, enjoy dinner and an evening at leisure.
OVERNIGHT Medicine Hat Lodge
DAY THREE | A NEW CITY VIEW & CULINARY ADVENTURE
After breakfast at the hotel, we head out to explore downtown. We'll start the day by standing under the World's Tallest Teepee, then tour the city's historic sights, ending on the rooftop patio of the Esplanade Art's & Heritage Centre. After a tour of the museum and galleries, we ebark on the City Cafe Tour with stops at four downtown coffee shops to sample handcrafted brews.
Relax for the afternoon or choose from one of our optional excursions. In the evening we will join together to tour local restaurants in the heart of the city. We will meet local restauranteurs and feast on creative dishes that highlight the diverse prairie culinary culture.
OVERNIGHT Medicine Hat Lodge
DAY FOUR | HIKE UP & TUNNEL DOWN THE BADLANDS
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for Dinosaur Provincial Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take a close look at micro fossils and learn about the diversity of animals that lived here 75 million years ago in the late Cretaceous. Explore one of the world's richest deposits of dinosaur bones. After a busy morning on the wild Badlands feast on an authentic Alberta steak lunch at the century-old Patricia Hotel.
During our afternoon at Atlas Coal Mine, choose to climb up the last standing wooden tipple in the world - or journey deep down below into an old coalmine tunnel. This busy day ends in the local arts community of Rosebud with dinner and professional live theatre.
OVERNIGHT Rosebud Country Inn
DAY FIVE | DIG IN AT THE DINOSAUR MUSEUM
After breakfast at the Inn, we depart for Drumheller.
Spend the morning in Drumheller exploring a rich collection of otherworldly sandstone Hoodoo's and take a group photo high above the river on the Rosedale Suspension Bridge. Our tour's last stop is the iconic Royal Tyrrell Museum to walk among the world's largest display of dinosaur skeletons - most of them discovered right here in Alberta's dense fossil beds.
We head back to Calgary mid- afternoon - from here you can return home via the international airport or extend your holiday in this vibrant western hub.
On day three you have the choice to enjoy a leisurely afternoon in Medicine Hat or add one of our optional excursions to your vacation:
NORTH WEST MOUNTED POLICE EXPERIENCE | $24 Per Person
Come to Police Point Park the first home of
the North West Mounted Police in Medicine Hat.
Experience what daily life was like for these guardians of the prairies
in the late 1800’s. Enjoy your outing
within the Hat’s destination spot for nature and history. Knowledgeable and friendly Interpreters from
the local Nature Centre will guide you through this unique exploration of the
area’s past and present.
Note: Itinerary may vary slightly based on seasonal availability.
Photo Credit: Travel Alberta